Archive for the “Screenwriting From Iowa” Category


As I watched the Miami Hurricanes football team beat Florida State on Saturday I smiled when I saw the new brass knuckles-like rings that Miami used to celebrate to touchdowns this year. Here’s the preface to my book Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles. The book is kind of a greatest hits of the more than 3,000 […]

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”I think it’s one of those times to really think about everything that’s important in your life.”—Surfer Kelly Slater (on the pandemic in 2020)The Tim Ferriss Show On Saturday I went to the beach for the first time since things started getting funky with COVID-19 in March. It was a great summer day and a […]

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Look out Casey Neistat — I just published my second YouTube video on this channel in the past six years. It’s a teaser for my book Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles which is now available on Amazon. May thanks to those of you who’ve been longtime readers of this blog. When I started blogging in January […]

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Because I am drawn to clean and simple (even understated) design I knew that was what I was aiming for with the book cover of Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles. (Think the Nike swoosh, the Apple logo, or the “U” design for the University of Miami.) This is what Predrag Capo came up with that exceeded […]

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“The good news is, you’ve already taken the initiative by reading this book. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Iowa or Iceland. You don’t need an agent or a manager. You don’t need to place first in a screenplay competition. You don’t need to wait to wait for permission. All you need, is to start.”—Screenwriters […]

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Once when I was in film school I skipped a class to go to a double feature at a revival house (in Pasadena, I believe) that was showing Tender Mercies and Tomorrow. Both starred Robert Duvall and were written by playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote. Foote won his first Oscar Award for writing To Kill […]

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“Sometimes you need to get knocked down before you can really figure out what your fight is, and how you need to fight it. . . . The struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” —Actor Chadwick Boseman 2018 Howard University Commencement Speech Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s […]

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“All creative work is mystical. How dare they demystify it? How dare they think they can demystify it? . . . I was never conscious of my screenplays having any acts. I didn’t know what a character arc was.” —Screenwriter John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Big Wednesday) 2015 Creative Screenwriting interview with Erik Bauer

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Here are 23 examples of how Lin-Manual Miranda keeps the life or death stakes in the foreground of the first act of Hamilton. And has a healthy dose of foreshadowing in the background that will pay off in act two.: Aaron Burr in the second song: “Fools who run their mouths off wind up dead.” […]

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Let me tell you what I wished I’d known when I was young and dream of glory “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda Two (of the many) remarkable things about the storytelling of Hamilton is how the creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, compressed the story down to 2 hours and 40 […]

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